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Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella Is Coming to Broadway, and I Have Thoughts

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After following the West End run of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella  with great anticipation, I was pleased to learn that the show is coming to Broadway  after its controversial closing in the UK . I was a little less pleased when I learned that its title would be changed to Bad Cinderella. Yes, I know "Bad Cinderella" is the headlining song from the show  and that they don't want people to confuse it with Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella , but after Lloyd Webber was booed onstage for calling the production "a costly mistake" in a letter he wrote for its final curtain call, is it really a good idea to promote its revival in America with a derogatory adjective? Maybe if it didn't spark so much controversy in its British run, the title could have been interpreted as a parody along the lines of Disenchanted . At this point, it gives off the impression that Webber is making fun of the show, something that I personally don't think it deserves. H

How The Rose of Versailles Paved the Way for Revolutionary Girl Utena

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I used to think that Revolutionary Girl Utena  was the most innovative, unique, and original anime out there. After watching  Princess Knight  and now The Rose of Versailles , I realize that it drew inspiration from older anime sources. All three of these series feature women who don swords and take on the role of a man to protect the innocent. They each have their own queer-coded attributes  that combine all the best things about noble heroes  and damsels in distress . The Rose of Versailles, which came out in 1979, right in the middle of the 30-year gap between 1967's Princess Knight and 1997's Utena, stands apart from its surrogate cousins because it is set in a historical setting rather than a fairy tale world. The Rose of Versailles takes place prior to and during the French Revolution. It spans the decades of Marie Antoinette's life from her engagement to King Louis XVI to her beheading at the guillotine. If you haven't already guessed, the show does not have a ha

Story Saturday: The Little Seamstress (Once Upon a Time)

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"The Little Seamstress" Once upon a time, there was a poor girl living in a small village with her father. The two were in mourning for the tragic death of her mother, who taught her how to be a seamstress like she was. The girl, whose name was Beatrice, diligently took on her mother's profession and mended garments for the residents of the small village. One client named Prunella seemed to visit more and more often and spent a great deal of time talking to Beatrice's father. Prunella would bring things like a skirt with a missing button that appeared to be torn off or other clothes with small rips that did not look like they happened by accident. Soon, Beatrice learned that the woman was to become her new stepmother. On the night of her father's wedding, Prunella demanded a gift from her soon-to-be stepdaughter. Beatrice had little to offer. She tried offering a prized pincushion, some of her finest needles, and even her favorite spool of fabric that shimmered li

Review: Time Princess - Moving Mountains

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I wasn't sure what to expect from the latest visual novel in Time Princess  called Moving Mountains. This game releases new stories so often that there isn't always enough time to read up about them to get excited, which was the case here. This story is pretty typical of a visual novel from this game. It focuses on a particular historical period and features a heroine with the ability to make decisions that have the potential to change history. Moving Mountains is the most generic story I've played in this game so far. It didn't introduce me to a new culture since there have already been several stories set in China , most of which were more interesting than this one. Unlike many of my favorites from this game, the story was not rooted in mythology or legend . Instead, it was your average tale about a woman who was ahead of her time and wanted to avoid an arranged marriage and find independence. There was nothing particularly wrong with Moving Mountains story per se, b

Princess Updates from Disney Television Animation

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The most notable gap in the D23 Expo announcements this month was from Disney Television Animation . Two years ago, they announced a massive slate of upcoming series , several of which were never mentioned again. Now we know why. Most of these shows have either been canceled or delayed, and the princesses are sadly no exception. Before I get into that, however, I'd like to lead with some good news. As many of you know, one of my favorite shows of all time is Sofia the First , a limitless adventure about a little girl who gets to experience all the magic of being a Disney Princess for the first time. This series has been stuck in Netflix limbo for the past three years, preventing Sofia from joining her fellow princesses on Disney+ . Next month, all of that is about to change. In tweet posted on September 15th, series creator Craig Gerber shared Disney Schedule Archive's post  that Sofia the First will be leaving Netflix on October 8th and joining the ranks of Elena of Avalor a

We Need To Talk About Gabriella

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I've shared my love of Disney's animated Little Mermaid  series on here many times in the past. My favorite episode of the show is called "Wish Upon a Starfish." In it, Ariel meets a deaf mermaid named Gabriella, and they go on a quest together to find a magic wishing starfish so Ariel can have legs to dance and Gabriella can have a voice to sing. The episode contained one of the best songs from the series, "Daring to Dance," and has a fascinating backstory behind it. Gabriella was not selected at random to give Ariel another mermaid to be friends with. She was actually based on a two-year-old girl, who was one of the show's biggest fans, named Gabriella Angelina Bommino . When the episode went into production, Gabriella was dying of leukemia. Through the Make a Wish Foundation , the Disney animators designed a mermaid based on Gabriella's image to show her family what she would have looked like if she hadn't passed away so tragically young. T

Review: Part of My World

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I thought I already knew everything there was to know about Jodi Benson , the iconic voice of my favorite Disney character, Ariel, from The Little Mermaid . When I found out she was releasing an autobiography, I expected it to contain the same stories I'd already heard in interviews, live performances , and word of mouth. As it turns out, I was wrong. Part of My World: What I've learned from The Little Mermaid about love, faith, and finding my voice  is an intimate and revealing account of everything that went on behind the scenes of Jodi's life, and not all of it is pretty. This book humanizes this smiling upbeat role model for princess fans and musical theater ingenues and shows us that she is a real person with real problems just like everyone else. Reading Part of My World  made me feel closer to Jodi Benson than I ever have, even after meeting her in person. I highly recommend this book to all fans of musical theater and animation. Part of My World  was like catching u

The School for Good and Evil Finally Has a Real Trailer!

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As soon as I heard that The School for Good and Evil  was coming to Netflix and was based on a popular princess book series to Soman Chainani , I went ahead and read the first book . I had mixed feelings about the visually stunning setting combined with outdated stereotypes about princess characters being selfish and vain . The initial teaser for the film  revealed very little about how it might look or how closely it would follow the book. Today, a new trailer was released  that shows significantly more footage from the movie does seem to follow the book, right down the lavish visuals that provide a sensory overload of beautiful fairy tale imagery. While the initial teaser and casting announcement focused on the two headmistresses who barely even made an impression in the book, the trailer shines the spotlight where it belongs on Sophie and Agatha, the two protagonists. Like the teaser, the trailer pushes the fairy tale angle with the claim that Snow White, Cinderella, and Jack who cl

The Comprehensive D23 Expo Princess Announcement Post!

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If you're a Disney fan, you are probably aware that this weekend is the D23 Expo , a massive fan convention that happens once every two years where they make the biggest announcements and reveals of upcoming Disney content for the next couple of years. This was the first Expo in three years, so Disney made sure to pull out all the stops to celebrate their upcoming 100-year anniversary. As usual, I am here to fill you in on everything princess that happened at the expo . Get your tiaras ready because this is going to be a big one! Disenchanted Friday afternoon was the biggest panel of the event, and no announcement since then has come close to the level of excitement I felt for these upcoming films. First up was Disenchanted , the sequel to Enchanted  that will launch on Disney+ in November, which dropped not only a new poster but also the movie's very first trailer! I had been curious about this movie for a while as I'm sure many other fans were, and this trailer did not l

Review: Barbie - Mermaid Power

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Barbie: Mermaid Power  is a direct sequel to two of the four Barbie movies from the new generation, Dolphin Magic  and Big City Dreams . For full disclosure, I have not seen Big City Dreams  or Barbie and Chelsea: The Lost Birthday , which came out before it. I also haven't seen Dolphin Magic  in five years, so my memory of it is patchy. Like most people from my generation, I am a bigger fan of the Barbie movies from the early to mid-2000s , which focused primarily on fairy tales and roleplay. However, since this one had mermaids in it, I had to check it out since I quite enjoyed the Mermaid Tale  films . Since the Barbie movies have moved to Netflix, their runtimes have gotten shorter. Both Mermaid Power  and Princess Adventure  come in at a little over an hour, but Mermaid Power  does a lot more to fill that time. The plot is similar to Avatar: The Last Airbender , only with mermaids. Due to a natural phenomenon that occurs once every hundred years, all the mermaids in the sea ga

Princess Knight Is the Most Progressive Anime You've Never Seen!

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Princess Knight  was referred to me as the anime that started the "shoujo" (girl-oriented) genre in Japan. That seems like a pretty big claim considering how immensely popular that genre has been over the years and the fact that I've never heard of this show. It came out in 1967, which was well before anime became popular in America. Upon watching it, I found it contained many similarities to one of my favorite anime series, Revolutionary Girl Utena . I thought Utena was pretty progressive for a '90s series, but I had no idea something similar had already been done all the way back in the '60s and had likely inspired it. By today's standards, Princess Knight would probably be considered transgender or queer  even though she has a male love interest. The show begins with an in-depth explanation of why she feels obligated to pretend she's a boy. As the daughter of a queen and king, she has a responsibility to inherit the kingdom of Silverland, whose law stat